Upstream. A Mohawk Valley Blogzine.

Monday, June 26, 2006

No Free Lunch For Amsterdam Cops.

Amsterdam Alderman Jim Nicosia stirred up trouble last week by having the audacity to question lunch receipts that cops have turned in for reimbursement. If an Amsterdam cop works overtime, he can get anywhere from $10-$20 for lunch. Individual cops have turned in receipts for 24 cut pizzas and other gargantuan meals.

I don’t know how much per year the city spends on these meals, but with Amsterdam as cash strapped as it is, the free lunch program for cops ought to end. I heard one guy say that the cops deserve it because they put their lives on the line everyday. I lived in Amsterdam for almost thirty years and never once heard of a cop getting killed or wounded in the line of duty. Besides aren’t cops just as vulnerable when they only work an eight hour shift. There is no free lunch program for cops who don’t work overtime.

I’ve worked overtime many times and never received a meal ticket. The reward for overtime is time and a half or double time pay. Cops get so much overtime that they consistently turn up as the highest paid employees in many Mohawk Valley cities and towns. They can afford to buy their own meals.

The only other Amsterdam business that I am aware of that gives free meal tickets for overtime is Amsterdam Memorial Hospital and they give you $4 to spend at the cafeteria.

Nicosia is doing the right thing and the mayor and the rest of the aldermen should support him.

An added benefit to stopping these lunches might be that some of the Billy Fuccillo sized cops Amsterdam has might once again meet the physical fitness standards for police officers.


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